Effect of Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) Inhibitors on Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Pulmonary Hypertension: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Control Trials

Cureus. 2023 Jan 4;15(1):e33363. doi: 10.7759/cureus.33363. eCollection 2023 Jan.


We intended to summarize the most recent research pertaining to the use of phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors in pulmonary hypertension in light of recent developments in the knowledge of the pathophysiological mechanisms and treatments for pulmonary hypertension, with major contributions in the area in the last decade. The aim of this meta-analysis is to determine the efficacy of PDE5 inhibitors for pulmonary hypertension in adults. We followed the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines to carry out this meta-analysis. Online database searching to identify eligible trials was performed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library by two authors independently. Outcomes assessed in the current meta-analysis included change in the cardiac index from baseline in liters per minute per square meter (L/min/m2), mean peripheral arterial pressure (PAP) in mm Hg, mortality, hospitalization, and six-minute walking distance (6MWD) in meters (m). Overall, 17 articles met the inclusion criteria and were included in the current meta-analysis. PDE5 inhibitors significantly improve cardiac index (mean difference: 0.18, 95% CI: 0.04, 0.32, p-value: 0.01), mean PAP (mean difference: -5.61, 95% CI: -7.60, -3.62, p-value: 0.01), and 6MWD (mean difference: 26.26, 95% CI: 16.95, 35.57, p-value: 0.001) as compared to the patients in the control group. No significant difference was found in terms of risk of mortality (risk ratio (RR): 0.51, 95% CI: 0.17, 1.54) and risk of hospitalization (RR: 0.59, 95% CI: 0.23, 1.55) between the two groups. The current meta-analysis concluded that PDE5 inhibitors improve 6MWD, mean PAP, and cardiac index in patients with pulmonary hypertension. However, no significant difference was reported in terms of mortality and hospitalization between the two groups.

Keywords: cardiac index; meta-analysis; peripheral arterial pressure; phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors; pulmonary hypertension.

Publication types

  • Review